Month: September 2020

‘Take home’ lawsuits over COVID infections could be costly for U.S. employers

U.S. businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks are facing an emerging legal threat from claims that workers brought coronavirus home and infected relatives, which one risk analysis firm said could cost employers billions of dollars.

The cases borrow elements from “take home” asbestos litigation and avoid caps on liability for workplace injuries, exposing business to costly pain and suffering damages, even though the plaintiff never set foot on their premises.

“Businesses should be very concerned about these cases,” said labor and employment attorney Tom Gies of Crowell & Moring, which defends employers.

The lawsuit against Aurora alleges that Ricardo Ugalde worked “shoulder to shoulder” on the company’s processing line in April when Aurora knew it had a coronavirus outbreak at its facility and failed to warn employees or adopt any infection prevention measures.

Aurora did not respond to a request for comment.

Between 7% and 9% of the roughly 200,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths so far are believed to stem from take-home infections and the lawsuits could cost businesses up to $21 billion if the number of Americans fatalities reaches 300,000, according to Praedicat, a firm that evaluates risks for insurers.

Rob Reville, Praedicat’s chief executive, cautions that is a worst-case scenario and said the cases might cost far less, depending on how judges view the lawsuits.

Are Nursing Homes Liable for Slips and Falls?

Nursing homes are legally liable when one of their residents is injured in a slip and fall, but these cases also differ from other slip and fall lawsuits.

Seniors are more likely to fall and more likely to suffer serious injuries due to their age and health conditions, and often the cause is not related to their surroundings.

A fall in a managed care facility can happen the way these accidents typically take place, such as a person slipping on uneven carpet or on a wet floor, but that is often not the case. Instead, when an elderly person falls in a nursing home, it is typically because they weren’t adequately supervised. Here are more reasons a nursing home may be liable.

Bayer Indicates Progress in Essure Settlement Talks

Victims of Essure birth control implant injuries may soon get the compensation they deserve. Manufacturer Bayer has indicated it is making progress in settlement talks with plaintiffs’ lawyers, and that it has set aside $1.47 billion for potential settlements involving approximately 32,000 lawsuits pending around the country.

Essure is a form of permanent birth control that Bayer sold from 2002 through 2018, after which the company stopped distributing the product in the U.S. because of restrictions implemented by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Bayer Considering Settlements, but Maintains Essure is Safe
As of July 24, 2020, Bayer faced roughly 32,000 lawsuits filed by Essure users claiming to have suffered from serious injuries caused by the birth control device, including hysterectomy, pain, bleeding, perforation, unwanted pregnancy, and more. The plaintiffs seek both compensatory and punitive damages.

Bayer recently indicated in its second-quarter results announcement that it had seen progress in recent settlement talks: “Recently discussions on potential settlements have intensified which made good progress in recent weeks.” The company added that it continues to “support the safety and efficacy of the Essure device and are prepared to vigorously defend it in litigation.”

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